Melanin & Culture Lens

This has been on my mind for a while. I say it because for a long time, operating in the sustainable fashion space I have come to acknowledge that many conversations about sustainability with African-Americans often focus on the race and colonisation but only mainly in the USA. There is little to no acknowledgement of[…]
Inspiring ‘A Letter To Myself…’ WOTC magazine feature for Samata to celebrate the Entertainment industry and Black History Month. Samata was one of 33 exceptional girls and women of colour forming part of the ‘A Letter to Myself’ campaign. Read link here.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Samata (@iam_samata)
Let’s talk about black owned luxury Whilst we are facing an uncertain future, and the income disparity is set to be exacerbated, in 2019, the combined buying power of blacks, Asian-Americans and Native Americans was estimated to be $2.4 trillion, while the nation’s Hispanics command $1.5 trillion in spending power—larger than the GDP of Australia.[…]
Samata joined Lagos Fashion Week as a panelist on ‘Sustainability and the Circular Economy’ at the Fashion Business Series. Taking place during Lagos Fashion Week, Fashion Business Series invites stakeholders across Fashion, Beauty, Tech and more to convene with other industry insiders and invite guests to exchange ideas, network and contribute to conversations surrounding central[…]
Let’s not sleep on the youth anymore. Let’s think beyond the global climate strikes – which whilst you may not have been made aware, were galvanised by the actions of youths across the globe, not just Greta, but youths like @HelenaGualinga of the Indigenous Kichwa Sarayaku community in the Ecuadorian Amazon who took the Ecuadorian[…]
I recently added this poem to a gift for a family member and wanted to share it here. This year has been hugely about resolidfying roots to emerge stronger for me, and many of you. A task which feels impossible sometimes without the idea of a foundation. So many of us have felt like we[…]
My sister told me to watch the animation ‘Coco’ on @disneyplus. And I’ll be honest, the idea of the Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) kind of had me shook, initially. I am so glad I watched it. It is so incredible. That culture, the ofrenda is so incredible. I only know now what[…]
More humility, less arrogance. Time and time again, we see certain parts of the world believing that they can teach other parts how to be…civilised, sustainable, honest. Withholding support or placing conditions on it… Whilst watching the news today, I have been reflecting on the concepts of arrogance and humility, and what we really need[…]
Martina Luther Queen. Body Politics.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ The clothes we wear form a crucial part of our identity and for me, sustainability in its design form, is an extension of more meaningfully created fashion.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ If you are unsure about why sustainable design has become the most intriguing part of fashion industry that there is (that’s[…]
I was recently asked who the first BIPOC designer I wore on the Oscars red carpet was…well, it was me! I used to design and red carpet fashion was my passion – so collaborating with the Oscars for our sustainable design campaign @RedCarpetGreenDress is actually a dream come true AND it’s one of the reasons[…]
Homage post. I just published a piece on my site about the intersection of culture and sustainable fashion within Japan, featuring insight from a little chat I had with MOMA’s Reiko Sudo. Background – I studied Japanese at college because I had a deep interest in the culture. Connecting the dots between culture and sustainability,[…]
An Op-Ed on the intersection of Culture and Sustainability in Japan  A multicultural phenomenon, the global fashion industry provides sustenance to designers from a plethora of cultural backgrounds. Exploring the lessons, traditional practises and cultural philosophies which might benefit the ethical fashion sector, I focused on two countries close to my heart; Ghana, the birthplace[…]
Samata joined ‘A Seat at the Table — Creating Space for BIPOC in Sustainable Fashion’ with The Sustainable Fashion Forum. Link to full session in bio (guests will need to register and access to all the incredible interviews is $25). Panelist: 
Emi Ito, Founder & Co Moderator — Buy from BIPOC @little_kotos_closet @AditiMayer, Journalist, Sustainable[…]
An Op-Ed on the intersection of Culture and Sustainability in Japan and Ghana by Samata A multicultural phenomenon, the global fashion industry provides sustenance to designers from a plethora of cultural backgrounds. Exploring the lessons, traditional practises and cultural philosophies which might benefit the ethical fashion sector, I focused on two countries close to my[…]
In 2009 the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a fabulous TED talk called “The Danger of a Single Story,” – a moving piece about what happens when complex human beings and situations are reduced to a single narrative: when Africans, for example, are treated solely as pitiable poor, starving victims with flies on their[…]
I’ve been asked about my signature style recently, and to be honest it’s developing and I’m learning myself. As an eco-fashion lover and now as a mama I have noticed a few key bits that are consistent! First up, I will ALWAYS have some head piece or some statement gear on top…here are some of[…]
We have posted about this incredible brand before and were over the moon when Sarah’s Bag founder Sarah Beydoun shared some insight into her story with us. Beydoun is a passionate entrepreneur and leader, with a brand dedicated to empowering women. Have a look at what she had to say about her incredible brand below…
I haven’t shopped at H&M for about 5 years because they aren’t sustainable. Having heard that they burnt collections which didn’t sell I was pushed even further away from the brand. Fresh on the heels of this ‘Monkey’ jumper, I understand why people are calling for this boycott but what I really hope is that[…]
I will always remember visiting Pantheon – Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres in Rome, Italy, (a former Roman temple, now a church on the site of an earlier temple) and seeing this stunning painting earlier this year. I was surprised at how emotional I felt seeing the two black women in the painting at[…]
As if she weren’t already legendary enough, actress Cicely Tyson just landed a magazine cover at the age of 92. The actress, who recently presented alongside Anika Noni Rose at the Emmys, is one of Elle’s picks for this year’s Women in Hollywood Issue, and her cover is gorgeous. The annual list, which celebrates a number of Hollywood’s trailblazing females, prompted the reveal[…]
Created by Gea Antonini, Federica Croce and Laura Zama Hebe – three Italian designers who bring together experience from brands such as Valentino, Roberto Cavalli and Vera Wang – womenswear brand Hebe Studio is quickly becoming known for immaculately tailored suits with a clean, fresh femininity. Essentially designing wardrobe dead certs and everlasting pieces these[…]
Watched Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit last night – a powerful film depicting LA’s Zoot Suit Riots and run-up events. In the 40s, Latin (African, Italian and Filipino) Americans seen wearing the Zoot Suit – high-waisted, wide-legged, tight-cuffed, pegged trousers, and a long coat with wide lapels and shoulders – as cultural identity were often deemed[…]
Here is my second headscarf tutorial video, as requested by my Instagram followers… I tie this style for drama and ease – all your hair away from your face and a pretty cool statement. If this headband tutorial is easy to follow then I’ll keep going, so let me know in the comments please. If you[…]
At 69 years old – and looking at least 20 years younger – the singer Grace Jones is the subject of this documentary portrait by Sophie Fiennes. It’s a celebration of her musicality and The Grace Jones documentary is almost here and I am here for it.
Giving this a go as I was asked to do some headwrap guides for ya. I filmed this very quickly but hope the gist is easy to get? I need to keep it simple when I'm busy and have hair off my face when I'm having 'a day'. Recently had some allergies and hair needed[...]
Based in Chicago, artist Harmonia Rosales’ inspiration arises from living life as a woman of colour, she describes her art as being born out of “a combination of my love for history, thirst for endless new knowledge, and dedication to social action.”I have been following her work online for a while (@Honeiee), falling in love with[…]
Solange Wrote the Most Powerful Letter to Her Teenage Self… I keep reading and re-reading it. It’s so good and resonated with me. Trying to apply these words right now! Here is a quote from the interview, click image to be re-directed: there will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there[…]
I have been asked about how I tie my headwraps a few times…so stay tuned. The one in this is a double fabric style which was fun create…take a look at headwraps I have worn in the past here or browse my #SamatasHeadwrap. Stay tuned…
In this thought-provoking book, Tanisha C. Ford explores how and why black women in places as far-flung as New York City, Atlanta, London, and Johannesburg incorporated style and beauty culture into their activism. Focusing on the emergence of the “soul style” movement – represented in clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and more – Liberated Threads shows that[…]
Anyone else have a dropped jaw from reading Chimamanada Adiche’s New Yorker piece? It went live a few hours ago and is called ‘Now is the time to talk about what we are actually talking about’…it’s epic. Here is a snapshot of some of the best bits… ‘The case for women is not that they[…]
Eek. Today the UK voted for BREXIT, and whilst I know very little about the future, the one thing I know for sure is that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
* Update December 2018 * As you all know, I love a good head wrap! I find them super convenient when I’m rushing out of the house and don’t have time to do my hair, but these pieces of fabric aren’t solely off-duty pieces – they can make much more of a statement (one of[…]